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Wife wants to work abroad against husband's wishes; 'why isn't he happy for me?' UPDATED

Wife wants to work abroad against husband's wishes; 'why isn't he happy for me?' UPDATED


"WIBTA if I accepted an offer to work abroad against my husband wishes?"


I (F26) got an offer from my boss to move abroad next year for 6 months to open a new branch of our agency and be a branch manager (it’s a 2h flight away). It’s an incredible offer to get at my age and I worked my ass off for the past 2+ years as a project manager / team leader to get here(started off as the former role, organically became the latter one as well).

I’d have all expenses with the move covered. It’s a dream come true for me career-wise. Here’s the issue. My husband (M29) doesn’t want to move. He’s about to have an exam in December to finally get all necessary qualifications for his profession (think like bar exam in the US).

His salary would go up and he’d be able to be independent. But... only in our country. I’m not sure he’d be able to find a job abroad and he really doesn’t want to move. I am making 3x his salary and we’d still live comfortably, but understably he doesn’t want a break in his career especially when it’s finally going to take off.

He wants to save as much as possible to buy a house, have kids etc. I want the same but not necessairly now, perhaps in a year or so. We don’t have enough saved to do it earlier anyway and I want to negotiate my salary for the new position so that we would still be on track with all these plans.

For a little context, he’s always been more domestic, doesn’t care to learn more languages or travel. Which is fine. I, on the other hand, consider myself more of a cosmopolitan person. I speak 3 foreign languages and am currently learning a 4th one, always dreamt of international career whether it’s about being able to travel or just move abroad.

During our relationship I did move abroad twice for more than a year, so we know that long-distance relationship is doable. But, when I came back 3 years ago ,we discussed that we don’t want that anymore. So I stayed.

When we talked about the opportunity, he instantly became cold and short with me. We are speaking etc. normally, but any time the topic comes up, he gets annoyed. He doesn’t say no to me going alone (or with our dog), but he isn’t happy for me nor wants me to go. Thus, WIBTA if I accepted the offer?

Here were the initial comments from readers:


YTA - A marriage is a partnership, so deciding on your path without getting buy in from your spouse isn't the way to go unless you want to divorce. Sounds to me that you will need to long distance again if this is going to work for the both of you.

That will give you both to complete your career goals and then comes the bigger step of where do we go from here. Many two career families make it work, but only when both are on the same page, working together to make it work. Going it alone is not the answer.

The OP responded in the comments here:


Thank you for your honesty. I just feel like there’s not much room for compromise here. I understand that he wants to stay 100%. He doesn’t want to do long distance either, so it’s either his way or my way.

I am currently sad that he didn’t even congratulate me nor seemed proud in any way, just sees this as an inconvenience. Perhaps some time is needed for our emotions to cool down and we can sit down again and find a way.


"For a little context, he’s always been more domestic, doesn’t care to learn more languages or travel. Which is fine."

Which is absolutely not fine. Hence proved. You mentioned you both agreed to not have a long distance relationship. Your husband doesn't want to settle abroad. His degree isn't valid abroad. You want to settle abroad. What exactly were you expecting from ur husband when you thought of going abroad for this job?

After the first round of comments started to come in like this, the OP returned with more information.



Okay I see a lot of comments that we’re not compatible due to him wanting to stay and me going abroad. When we met we BOTH wanted to live abroad. He was meant to finish his degree and join me, but turns out you can’t find job in his field outside of the country unless you’re a genius. Neither me nor him knew that.

It’s not like he hates travelling, he simply can’t due to his work. Yeah he’s now used to that, me not so much. 3 years ago, when we came back so that he could continue his career we agreed to stay in one place for a longer time (until that point me, him or both of us moved at least once every year, either together or one of us).

It wasn’t a promise that neither of us would go anywhere ever. It’s been 3 years in one city, the longest I’ve ever lived in one city since childhood. Do what you want with that, just wanted to clarify some things.

Here were the top rated comments after the update:


If you turn it down, you'll think about it forever. That will inevitably lead to what ifs, which will then lead to regret & that will lead to resentment of your bf for holding you back from your dreams. That or you'll break up, feel dumb & resent yourself instead.

Follow your dreams. If your relationship can't withstand something so positive that you've always wanted & what could arguably be considered the best thing that's ever happened in your professional life, then it's not the right relationship for you. Neither of you ATA. Life just happens. Good luck!

The OP again responded in the comments here:


Thank you so much. That’s the thing - this offer is a positive thing for me and the reaction I get from him is only resentment, which is just sad. If he said I’m very happy and proud, but xyz - then we can discuss logistics and decide whether it’s doable or not. I’d be more than happy for a discussion. But when he’s angry he closes himself and there’s No point in talking.


WNBTA-I run global mobility programs for a living and here's what you need to ask for. It's a 6m assignment, right? Tell your company you need flights covered for either him to visit you or you to visit him 3x during the assignment. You and husband can cover the other two yourselves.

Agree between the two of you that you'll have a 4 day weekend once a month, alternating who goes where. This is VERY common-most short term (less than 12m) assignments are unaccompanied because the spouse/partner has a job or other commitments that make it difficult for them to go along for a relatively short period.

Make sure your company provides you with furnished accommodation while you're there so you don't have double housing costs. If you need more help, message me.


NAH. However, here's your options:

-Husband puts his career on hold, moves with you, tries to pick up when you move back. Strong possibility of this leading to resentment on his part, also strong possibility of you being offered a longer term international assignment, which based on how you've described yourself and your aspirations you will likely want to take: High risk of death of relationship

-You move abroad alone. Husband resents you going back on your word regarding no more LTR. Strong possibility of you being offered a longer term international assignment, which based on how you've described yourself and your aspirations you will likely want to take: High risk of death of relationship.

-You turn down the offer and stay. Strong likelihood of you developing resentments towards husband for holding you back: High risk of death of the relationship.

Regardless of what choices you make, marital counseling will be a necessity if you want the marriage to survive, because right now your individual life goals are incompatible.

The OP again responded:


Thank you for this breakdown. I think there are so many possibilities to his reaction that we do need a couple therapy sessions. For both of our sake.

5 days later, the OP return with a full update.

"UPDATE: WIBTA if I accepted an offer to work abroad against my husband wishes?"


Thank you for all of the replies, some of the them were WILD, but hey that’s what you get on reddit I guess. Onto the update:

After reading your guys’ comments I decided to wait until Sunday to sit down and talk. That way both me and my husband could have space to process our emotions. I noticed that my excitement was clouding my judgement and reading how many of you were saying that my job is more important than him really made me take a step back from thinking about the possibilities and focus on the present.

Plus I had to leave for the weekend to attend a course in another city, so Sunday seemed a good time. After I came back, my husband picked me up and almost immediately said "Let’s go.”

I didn’t get what he meant, so I asked where and he said "let’s move to [the country]. I just have two conditions. One is that you will have a proper contract that states every single expense the company will cover and that you wait until my exam to make a final decision on the specifics. As for now, I can’t process thinking about the move. I have too much on my plate”.

I was floored. I asked him if he was sure and what about his job and career. He said that yes, he’s sure, as he also wanted to live in that country for a while someday and this seems like a good moment. That he will be able to find something and if not then we’ll still be fine as long as it’s only six months.

Yesterday I talked with my boss and asked if we can come back to the planning in December, as it would still give us enough time to organize everything until March (his deadline for the project to start).

I explained to him that my husband needs to focus on his exam now, so we won’t be able to plan the move. Fortunately he understood and, after a bit of back and forth, he said that the offer is on the table before Christmas.

Perhaps very anticlimactic for everyone sugesting divorce or me leaving to be the 'girlboss' I always wanted to be, but life is about balance and compromise. Sometimes just not between the parties that we thought. It’s not me vs my husband, but us against the world.

Or at least my boss’ request to decide about such a huge thing in a week. Especially that it wasn’t my goal in this company. This is literally the first time someone other than a co-owner would leave for months to open a new branch. So yeah, that’s all! Thanks again.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this latest update:


I wanted this ending. I love it. Good luck!


Glad this all worked out. As with most conflicts here, it all works out when people start communicating.


6 months for a 3x pay increase? Gtfo here with the drama it’s half a year.


Jesus wept, what the hell is up with these comments? F^&%ing Reddit REALLY hates to see a couple work out their differences don't they? They act like she's forcing him to give up his career and live in her closet for the rest of his life not agreeing to take what very well might end up being a 6 month holiday for him. It would be a literally dream for me to be in his position.


"You didn't compromise anything for your husband"

Some people really do not understand the way compromise works. You don't compromise just for the sake of having compromised, and not every argument needs to end in a compromise.

Besides, how would you compromise on this, beyond what she already offered/did? It's not like she can only half-move abroad or split herself in two and leave half behind.

So, surprisingly happy ending, right? Have you ever had a tough time navigating work and home life like this? Did it work out?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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